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Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

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Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:28 pm

I'm starting to build a list of reference tracks, and wondered if anybody could recommend any lists of reference tracks on the web used by other mixing/mastering engineers? And also, any recommended sites for downloading hi-res music files? Thanks!
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby CS70 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:14 pm

Er.. these "sites" arent called cd shops? :D

Which genres?
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:56 pm

What’s a CD shop?!! Mainly singer/songwriter stuff...
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:53 am

paulsmusic wrote:I'm starting to build a list of reference tracks, and wondered if anybody could recommend any lists of reference tracks on the web used by other mixing/mastering engineers? And also, any recommended sites for downloading hi-res music files? Thanks!

Hi paulsmusic!

The URL that's normally trotted out at this point is from Bob Katz's site:

https://www.digido.com/honor-roll/

Loads of high quality recordings to wade through there at various different playback levels.

Oh, and I agree with CS70 about suitable download sites - we should be buying our reference tracks rather than half-inching them ;)


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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:14 am

Thanks for the tip Martin - the Bob Katz list looks great! Just to be clear, I didn't mean illegal download sites, I want to be able to download (and pay for) uncompressed files, so that if I want to be able to use a reference track I can quickly have access to it without compromising on sound quality. :thumbup:
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby blinddrew » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:13 am

Yep, i like to have the full-fat wavs available so that i can load them into my DAW session. :)
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:30 am

blinddrew wrote:Yep, i like to have the full-fat wavs available so that i can load them into my DAW session. :)

Any recommended sites for WAV /uncompressed downloads?
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby blinddrew » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:39 am

Wherever possible i try to get stuff direct from the artist's website or from bandcamp (where you can choose your download format). Otherwise i'm old-fashioned and buy the CD.
(Though like a lot of us, I've been burned by transfers that have been far too hot on the final CD production. :( )
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:32 pm

Thanks BlindDrew!
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby blinddrew » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:42 pm

In the singer-songwriter vein, i find an interesting album to listen to is Josh Ritter's Animal Years. As well as being a practically flawless album (in my opinion), there's a real range to the prodution styles as well, from songs like Idaho (which is so stripped back it's almost acapella) to ones like Good Man, which has a constant interplay of different parts and ideas coming in and out.
YMMV ;)
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:25 pm

That's a great suggestion, thanks. I'm listening to it right now! I've been using Ryan Adam's Gold album as a reference for good separation of instruments in the singer-songwriter genre. I love the (deceptive) simplicity of the arrangements, and the way dynamics build.
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:21 pm

I've just rediscovered my ancient The Alan Parsons Project 'I Robot' album, which is BEAUTIFULLY mixed, with loads of separation and depth, and I'm starting to use it as another reference.

From the same engineer who mixed Dark Side Of The Moon no less ;)


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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:59 pm

Martin Walker wrote:I've just rediscovered my ancient The Alan Parsons Project 'I Robot' album, which is BEAUTIFULLY mixed, with loads of separation and depth, and I'm starting to use it as another reference.

From the same engineer who mixed Dark Side Of The Moon no less ;)


Martin

Another one for me to check out - thanks Martin! Strangely enough, I was looking for a copy of his 'Sound Check2' reference CD yesterday. The only copy I can find at the moment is £20 on Ebay - I still might buy it!
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby ronmac » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:11 am

I would highly recommend subscribing to the Society of Sound monthly downloads. Very high quality and genre diverse music curated by, among others, Peter Gabriel.

https://realworldrecords.com/features/b ... -of-sound/

MORE ABOUT SOCIETY OF SOUND
In 10 years there have been over 120 album releases on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound. The very first, in May 2008, was Little Axe’s seminal album ‘Bought for a Dollar, Sold for a Dime’, a melting pot of shimmering blues guitar licks, addictive rhythms, soulful vocals, dub, funk, reggae and gospel.

From the outset the aim of Society of Sound was always to build an audience interested in great sound and provide them with a forum to experience it and engage in a discussion about it with like-minded people. Files are delivered uncompressed, in hi-resolution to provide the listener with the best possible audio file option and all the releases are accompanied by production notes or insight from the artists and producers into how the records were made, creative inspirations and photography.

Along the way music from the likes of Peter Gabriel, Portico Quartet, Howie B, The Apples, Thomas Dolby, Jesca Hoop, Robert Fripp & The Travis, A Guy Called Gerald, Ed Harcourt, MAPS, Edwyn Collins, Laura Mvula, The Radiophonic Workshop, Cara Dillon, Hannah Peel, The Anchoress, Bell X1, Heaven 17, Tom Hickox, Mammal Hands, The Gloaming and many more has reached the ears of Society of Sound members before anyone else.

Some of the music has been a total exclusive, some pre-release variations or advance previews of forthcoming commercial incarnations and many created especially for, and with the help of, Bowers & Wilkins and Society of Sound.
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:18 pm

paulsmusic wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:I've just rediscovered my ancient The Alan Parsons Project 'I Robot' album, which is BEAUTIFULLY mixed, with loads of separation and depth, and I'm starting to use it as another reference.

From the same engineer who mixed Dark Side Of The Moon no less ;)


Martin

Another one for me to check out - thanks Martin! Strangely enough, I was looking for a copy of his 'Sound Check2' reference CD yesterday. The only copy I can find at the moment is £20 on Ebay - I still might buy it!

Hmm... I've still got that somewhere, and a few of its test tracks transferred to my hard drive, but I've never found it an indispensable purchase.

EDIT: Just found a list of its track contents, which reminded me that it's where I got my copy of the Yello track 'The Race', which I HAVE used as a reference on loads of occasions.

https://www.discogs.com/Alan-Parsons-St ... se/3082207

I must look it out again ;)


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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:24 pm

ronmac wrote:I would highly recommend subscribing to the Society of Sound monthly downloads. Very high quality and genre diverse music curated by, among others, Peter Gabriel.

https://realworldrecords.com/features/b ... -of-sound/

Wow - thanks for that link ronmac 8-)

It's a real find (pun intended ;) )


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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:42 pm

Martin Walker wrote:EDIT: Just found a list of its track contents, which reminded me that it's where I got my copy of the Yello track 'The Race', which I HAVE used as a reference on loads of occasions.

https://www.discogs.com/Alan-Parsons-St ... se/3082207

I must look it out again ;)

Thanks Martin. I’ m also building a test CD from some of the resources on Mike Senior’s website, using his Mixing Secrets book. My neighbours are probably wondering what all the strange sci-fi tones are all about, and I haven’t even got to Alan Parson’s yet!
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby paulsmusic » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:45 pm

ronmac wrote:I would highly recommend subscribing to the Society of Sound monthly downloads. Very high quality and genre diverse music curated by, among others, Peter Gabriel.

https://realworldrecords.com/features/b ... -of-sound/

Thanks for the tip Ronmac, it looks really interesting!
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby Nikitas » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:25 am

Also check out Avalon (Roxy Music) and Boys and Girls (Bryan Ferry.) Crazy amounts of texture and things going on but never sounds muddy or wall-of-soundy. Fine examples of complex yet articulated mixes.
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Re: Recommendations for Reference Track Lists

Postby Zukan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:30 am

I'm thinking we need a sticky here as this question gets asked regularly. We can add suggestion to the sticky as and when.

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